Tampa, Florida - A bracelet has some educators and parents worried their about more than making a fashion statement. At first glance, the crafty bracelets made out of a macramé type weave with beads and silver accessories look fashionable, even trendy.
"Looks like those little charm bracelets," says parent Michael Messine.
"They look like regular bracelets," says parent Clyana Wint.
But some school officials in the Orlando area are warning parents the bracelets may be used to smoke marijuana and even hide other drug paraphernalia such as crack, heroin and prescription pills.
Clyana says, "That's crazy. [I] would have never thought that."
Mom Lisa Griner says, "It's too bad our kids feel they have to participate in such things."
Michael wants to see them banned. "Anybody that distributes that, brings it into the county, should put them right in jail."
When the bracelet is pulled apart, one end has a small bowl with a filter. There's a small plastic tube woven into the bracelet capped off by a bead and, when unscrewed, can be used as a pipe.
"I would never allow my child to wear that at all. Never," says Clyana.
Michael says, "It gets in the hands of a young kid, that's a big problem."
Parents we spoke with say kids need to be better supervised.
Lisa says, "I think parents need to be more aware of what children are doing, what they have access to, what they are buying."
The bracelets are sold to smoke hookah, a tobacco from the Middle East. The bracelets even come in necklace sets and can be bought online or in a hookah lounge.
"I have middle schoolers so I definitely will be looking for them and think the schools need to be more aware, have more knowledge about this kind of paraphernalia," says Lisa.
We checked with Bay area school districts and those that responded, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Sarasota, say the bracelets have not shown up in their schools as of yet.
We also checked with many tobacco stores and they say they don't carry the bracelets, but store owners suspect they are ordered online. The bracelets run about $40.
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